Given the global influence of master Dutch portraitists in the seventieth century, it’s not surprising that modern photographer like Rodney Torres prioritizes the portrayal of individuals through his photographs. The golden age of Dutch-art was debatably the portraiture of the 17th century that remains to be enormously influential for the artist. Rodney is a remarkable photographer who works in high impact dramatic portraits, beauty, commercial, fashion editorial and celebrity portraits.
The photography of Rodney Torres precisely gleans inspiration from this period. He commits quality time, making lighting recipes using both natural and artificial lights using studio strobes, with a strong combination of soft and hard lighting depending on the project requirements. He’s outstandingly unique, and his photos mimic paintings from the era of the Dutch Masters.
The Use of Center of Interest
In Rodney Torres’ photographs, each case of the viewer’s eyes is drawn to a deliberate area of the photo. In Dutch Master’s era, this is called the center of interest. It is something which can be utilized to create a fantastic effect in photographs too. But how?
Fortunately, there are some fundamental explanations of how to accomplish the effect of a center of interest in a photo. Here’s how Rodney Torres create a focal point in his images:
- Strong Color. The eye is drawn to color. If Rodney’s goal is to have a significant element of color in a particular area of his photo, his viewers will be drawn to look at it. If he’s considering capturing a scene with a distinct area of bright color, then he considers it making the center of interest. He decides on the final composition of the shot, so the element of the color is well placed.
- Strong Contrast. The same as strong color, an area of high contrast (dark on light and light on dark), will also serve to draw the viewer’s eye. It’s another way to put a center of interest intentionally. It can be all seen in the photos. Often, he also utilizes depth of field to separate the center of the interest.
- The center of interest or subject is rarely in the center of the photo, which is almost not followed by the Dutch masters. The rule of thirds is one of the basic guidelines being used by photographers in composing a shot.
- Interesting Subject. Rodney Torres can draw and lead the eye to the center of interest by placing an object in his images that draws attention to the viewers. In the majority of cases, this is a person.
The Inspiration of Dutch Art
A new kind of fine art, Dutch Realism talks about the style of Dutch Baroque Art which thrived in the Netherlands after 80 years of war for Dutch independence from Spain. There’s a massive contrast from Renaissance Art. Theirs were oil paintings, smaller in size, involving day-to-day themes such as genre painting, portraiture recording of life. Further, their palette is deep, rich and warm, along with distinct contrasting colors pleasing to stare upon.
Master artists from this period include Frans Hals and Rembrandt who are famous for their portraits. It also includes Jan Vermeer who is recognized for his genre paintings portraying his subjects practicing their natural skills. Pieter Claesz is also famous for showcasing still life art.
The Dutch Masters spent a lot of time on single painting making the precise effect they desired. They had the advantage that they painted stuff as they wished, whereas a photographer like Rodney Torres has to work with what he finds. Rodney is always patient and searches for ways to integrate the elements which lead to a more great center of focus. He takes note that the more he practices, the more likely it will be that the ideal visual opportunity will deliver itself.
Today, not only photographers can replicate reality. They also have the opportunity of staging their portraits based on their concept, and that’s what Rodney Torres does. The conventional photographer has transformed into a self-respected artist. His masterpieces are all about identity not just the identity of his model, but also the photographer and the individual staring at the portrait.
With various projects made, his photographs offer a fascinating expression of the contemporary of the Dutch photographic portraiture in all its outstanding diversity.
In the era where virtually everybody takes photos using various devices in the form of selfies, portraits, and mobile phones are flung without thought and in massive numbers out in the world through social media. Rodney Torres’ Dutch-identity-inspired photos only show that a photographic portrait can be more than just a random shot.